Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Mothering Moment--The Strong-Willed Child

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

I am in a twelve week Sunday School class that is going through Dr. Dobson's Your Child: The Essentials of Discipline. Yesterday's topic was Compliance vs. Strong Willed. I found this chapter very interesting. Did you know that the ratio of strong willed children to compliant children is 3 to 1? Wow! My 2 1/2 year old is definitely strong willed. I'm not sure if my nine week old is or not, that is still to be determined. However, if his not wanting to sleep anywhere but my arms is any indication....he might be strong willed too!

We learned that it is important to determine if your child is strong-willed so that you can establish authority. It was also helpful to hear that we need to shape our children's will by disciplining without breaking their spirit. Another important thing to note is it is important to make the distinction between the strong-willed and compliant child in order to protect the rights of both and deal with them differently.

I also learned that 74% of strong-willed children rebel in their teen years while only 3% of compliant children do. This was not a comforting fact to me; however, I can be proactive and start getting on my knees and lifting this up to God now. It is never too early. It also showed me the importance of establishing authority now when my little guy is young so that maybe he won't rebel in his teen years.

What's the best news to parents raising a strong-willed child? There is a rapid decrease of rebelling in young adulthood, and 85% of strong-willed individuals will return to the values that their parents instilled in them. Whew, this is a relief! When I heard this in class it was comforting and not comforting at the same time. Yeah that compliance will come eventually, but in young adulthood!?!

It was a great week with good information. Here's what I would like to hear from you.

I would love to hear about your children. Did or do you have strong-willed children? For all of you mothers who have children that have left the nest, did you find it true that your strong-willed child settled down in their early 20's and returned to the values that you instilled in them? I'm very curious about this one! Also, any tips and suggestions of what has worked for you in regards to your strong-willed child.

And's another resource that I am seriously considering reading very soon (The New Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson).


  1. our little home is FULL of strong willed children. 3 for sure...still waiting to see if the 4th is as well...but he's leaning that way.
    fun times in the anderson house :)

  2. SWEET Kate! I just found your blog thanks to Amy V's facebook page!I remember the week that he talked about strong willed versus compliant children. And that was exacly what I thought...I have to wait until my child (specifically Jack :)) is in his 20's to see him return to our values... yikes! But, what God gently reminded of is that I canNOT do it alone. I need to give all those fears and worry to him and be in constant prayer for my sweet babies.